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Genes Cells. 2014 Apr;19(4):350-8. doi: 10.1111/gtc.12135. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

The scaffold protein JLP plays a key role in regulating ultraviolet B-induced apoptosis in mice.

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Division of Molecular Cell Signaling, Cancer Research Institute, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, 920-1192, Japan.


The ultraviolet B (UVB) component of sunlight can cause severe damage to skin cells and even induce skin cancer. Growing evidence indicates that the UVB-induced signaling network is complex and involves diverse cellular processes. In this study, we investigated the role of c-Jun NH2 -terminal kinase-associated leucine zipper protein (JLP), a scaffold protein for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascades, in UVB-induced apoptosis. We found that UVB-induced skin epidermal apoptosis was prevented in Jlp knockout (KO) as well as in keratinocyte-specific Jlp KO mice. Analysis of the repair of UVB-induced DNA damage over time showed no evidence for the involvement of JLP in this process. In contrast, UVB-stimulated p38 MAPK activation in the skin was impaired in both Jlp KO and keratinocyte-specific Jlp KO mice. Moreover, topical treatment of UVB-irradiated mouse skin with a p38 inhibitor significantly suppressed the epidermal apoptosis in wild-type mice, but not in Jlp KO mice. Our findings suggest that JLP in skin basal keratinocytes plays an important role in UVB-induced apoptosis by modulating p38 MAPK signaling pathways. This is the first study to show a critical role for JLP in an in vivo response to environmental stimulation.

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